Policy made plain.
Nov. 23 1996 3:30 AM

An Odd Request


Or, at least, an odd place to put this request. We are looking for Slate readers, or potential Slate readers, who have e-mail but don't do the Web thing. We suspect that a lot of people fall into this category, and we would like to make sure they have the opportunity to sign up for our e-mail delivery during the next couple of months, while it's still free. If you're reading these words on the Web, you're clearly not one of those people, but you may have friends or colleagues who are. And many of you are reading this on a printout, or (our spies tell us) on a photocopy or a hand-me-down of a printout. (We don't mind! Be our guest--until February.) If so, you should sign yourself and/or your friends up for e-mail delivery of Slate. What you get, every Friday afternoon, is a file, nicely formatted and ready to be printed out on 8½ x 11 paper. But you can also read it on screen, directly off your own hard disk, as many choose to do. Signing up is easy: Just go to the "Slate Help" page (or click here, you lazy bum) and type in your e-mail address. But if, for any reason, you cannot or would prefer not to perform this function (as the flight attendants like to say), just e-mail us at slate@msn.com. Say that you'd like e-mail delivery, give us your e-mail address (essential, obviously) and the name of your service provider (not essential, but helpful in straightening out problems), and we'll take it from there. Paranoid considerations: 1) You willnot be billed, now or in February, when the free period ends, unless you sign up all over again. 2) You can cancel delivery at any time. Every weekly delivery explains how. Prominently. It's easy. Honest. 3) We won't give your address to anyone else, or abuse it ourselves. 4) Bill Gates willnot have you killed. By the way, e-mail delivery of Slate makes a marvelous Christmas present. No wrapping needed. And you can't beat the price.

Slate Reader Survey

On a scale of 1 to 5, in which (1) is "not at all willing" and (5) is "desperately eager," how willing are you to take a few minutes to fill out an online reader survey? (E-mail Slate readers will get the survey by--well, obviously--e-mail.) If you are anything from mildly to extremely willing, we'd appreciate your input. And you may even enjoy the exercise. This survey consists of a few simple questions merely designed to strip you bare psychologically and to allow us to compile an exhaustive medical and financial dossier on you that could be used for unimaginable purposes. You may wonder, for example, why we need to know the answer to Question 47b: "When was the last time you cut your toenails?" Or (Part II, Section 7, Line 3): "Is Chekhov's Uncle Vanya a tragedy or a comedy?" The answer is nothing nefarious or mysterious. It's simple morbid curiosity. Our publisher, Rogers Weed (and isn't that a name you can trust?) has an insatiable desire for knowledge. He watches tapes of old Bill Moyers programs in the shower. His slogan is: If you know it, I'd like to know it too. So, help him out, and fill out the survey. (Actually, it's completely harmless and fairly short.) Many thanks.

By Michael Kinsley